You must be completely certain that what you have is bipolar disorder
, and not something like a personality disorder
, or even an organic condition. And only a qualified practitioner an ascertain that. No amount of reading from the books or the internet can validate your self diagnosis.
You must be completely aware of the nature of your affliction, and be well educated about it.
You must be well informed about the trigger points which can escalate into full blown manic or depressive episodes.
Through ultra modern approaches like genetic counseling, you have been thoroughly informed about the ones being afflicted in your family tree, and you have gone through the long process of understanding how to detect the subtle signs of the disorder manifesting in you.
Having discussed the hypothetical situation, as a discussion to your intriguing question, what really brings us down to the ground, are the details you've provided in your question, which really are more than enough to put sufficient doubt in my mind about the nature of your affliction being bipolar disorder, since you haven't really seen a professional.
I however, do not rule out the possibility of it, especially in favor of a bipolar ii diagnosis. You have mentioned about the socio-occupational and personal problems that you have to face because of the affliction. But that is not very unlike an individual on pharmacological treatment, thanks to the stigma that is still attached to mental illnesses.
Thus, if you can continue the fight, i'll happy to know that you continue doing it successfully. My only concern, is the cost you have to pay for it, with this ongoing battle within and without. To enhance your recovery, I suggest you to practice mindfulness meditation
, which should as a la mood stabilizer, and venting your emotional 'highs' through creative media like photography which you've already tried, or other areas where you divert your physical and mental energies like dancing, sport, and so on.
I however, strongly recommend extreme caution with this approach, as if it truly is bipolar disorder that you are suffering from, which is frequently associated with psychotic episodes (losing touch with reality), you and people around might be in for some danger to self and property.
Also, i, as a consulting psychiatrist
would always recommend to adopt whatever approach you plan, only after a private consultation with a psychiatric professional.